Premier League
Leicester0Tottenham2

Leicester City 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Son Heung-min and Dele Alli secure comfortable win

Son Heung-min
Son Heung-min scored a superb opener for Spurs and now has three goals in his last four games

Tottenham retained third place in the Premier League with a comfortable victory over a flat Leicester at the King Power Stadium.

With Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen both rested, Spurs initially struggled to break down the hosts until Son Heung-min's superb strike just before the break.

The South Korea forward cut in from the right and hit the top corner with a curling left-footed shot from outside the area.

The impressive Dele Alli then headed in Son's weighted cross after a flowing counter-attack to put the game beyond Leicester.

Spurs had dropped to fifth after wins for Chelsea and Arsenal earlier on Saturday, but have moved back above their London rivals and are five points behind Manchester City in second, with leaders Liverpool a point further in front.

Tottenham now have 36 points after 16 matches, their highest ever tally at this stage in a Premier League season.

Leicester stay ninth despite an end to their six-match unbeaten run in the league.

No Kane, no Eriksen, no problem

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli scores with a diving header against Leicester
Dele Alli dived in at the back post to head Tottenham's second

It is perhaps a mark of Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino's trust in the likes of Alli, Son and Lucas Moura that he felt able to leave Kane and Eriksen out of the starting side.

Spurs' crucial Champions League group game away at Barcelona on Tuesday explains Pochettino's selection here, but this was still an important game against an in-form Leicester side, with the risk that the visitors could fall behind others near the top of the table.

But unlike the decision not to start Toby Alderweireld in the derby defeat by Arsenal last week, this gamble paid off as Alli, Moura and Son's blend of pace and skill proved too much for Leicester.

Alli and Son provided the only sparks in an otherwise uninspiring first half - the former twice dancing through the Leicester defence only to be denied at the last, and the latter breaking the deadlock with a wonderful strike, the first either side had managed on target.

Collecting a short pass from Serge Aurier on the right-hand edge of the box, Son feinted past Nampalys Mendy to create space before curving a terrific strike beyond Kasper Schmeichel.

Son's start to the season was disrupted by his successful attempt to avoid military service in helping South Korea win the Asian Games, and he subsequently struggled for form. But he has been vital for Spurs recently, with three goals and three assists now in his last six league games.

Alli, meanwhile, has seen his season interrupted by injuries, but he was back to near his best here, drifting between the lines and capping a fine showing with a goal - his 50th in all competitions for Tottenham.

Moura brought the ball forward as Spurs worked a three-on-two, sliding it left to Son, who took his time, fashioned some room and picked out Alli with a terrific cross that the England midfielder met with a diving header past Schmeichel.

Eriksen and Kane did both enter the game in the final 25 minutes - replacing Moura and Son respectively - but by then Tottenham were coasting to victory.

Leicester lack attacking edge

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Leicester 0-2 Tottenham: Lack of clinical edge cost Foxes - Claude Puel

It was ultimately Leicester who were negatively affected by the absence of a talismanic English striker.

With Jamie Vardy missing his second straight game due to a groin problem, Kelechi Iheanacho rarely troubled Tottenham's experienced centre-back pairing of Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.

The Foxes had more success early on playing through their quick, skilful wingers Demarai Gray and James Maddison, who were able to play in full-backs Ricardo Pereira and Ben Chilwell as they made surging runs on the overlap.

Yet the final cross or cutback was lacking each time, while Vertonghen also made several crucial interceptions and blocks.

Substitute Rachid Ghezzal provided some impetus after replacing Iheanacho on 56 minutes, but could not beat Hugo Lloris with a curling effort late on after cutting inside Harry Winks.

Leicester were largely solid in defence, with captain Wes Morgan making a brilliant saving tackle to deny Alli as he ran through on goal.

Overall, the Foxes are on a curious run - tough to beat but struggling to break teams down, having had to settle for draws against Brighton, Burnley and Fulham in recent weeks.

Man of the match - Dele Alli (Tottenham)

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli applauds the fans as he walks off after victory over Leicester
A close call between Dele Alli and Son Heung-min but the England midfielder was at heart of everything Spurs did well, playing in between the lines and linking up brilliantly with his fellow attackers

Spurs boss criticises Premier League - what they said

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, speaking to BBC Sport: "A very solid performance, I'm very pleased.

"It was an unbelievable moment and a great goal by Son. It was very important for our confidence to go into the second half believing we could win.

"I am bit surprised the Premier League put us in the position of playing at this time because we travel to Barcelona on Monday and that will be so tough.

"We didn't receive the help we needed from the Premier League but we are going to be ready to fight in Barcelona."

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Leicester 0-2 Tottenham: 'Solid' Spurs performance pleases Mauricio Pochettino

Leicester manager Claude Puel, speaking to BBC Sport: "We started very well and it was a shame because we wasted good opportunities without the good clinical edge, the right pass or the right control.

"With more calm and more quality we could have had more opportunities in the first half. We were disappointed about our lack of clinical precision with the ball.

"We deserved to compete to the end against this team because it was a good start and we had good play."

Tottenham's sweetest 16 - the stats

  • Tottenham's tally of 36 points from 16 games is their best ever start to a Premier League season. Indeed, only twice before have they had a better total after 16 matches in a top-flight campaign (46 in 1960-61 and 37 in 1956-57 - based on three points for a win).
  • Since they returned to the Premier League in 2014-15, Leicester have conceded 22 goals against Tottenham in the competition, more than they have against any other opponent.
  • Dele Alli's goal was his 50th in all competitions for Tottenham. Since the start of 2015-16, only Son Heung-min (52) and Harry Kane (117) have more for the club.
  • Alli became the third player to score 50+ goals for Tottenham Hotspur in all competitions since 2015-16, alongside Son and Kane. No other Premier League club has more than two players who have done so in this time.
  • Son has scored three goals in his last four league games. He had not netted in any of his previous 15.
  • This was the first time Tottenham had started a Premier League game with neither Christian Eriksen nor Harry Kane in their starting XI since 8 March 2014 against Chelsea, a 4-0 defeat under Tim Sherwood.

What's next?

Tottenham face Barcelona at the Nou Camp in the Champions League on Tuesday (20:00 GMT) before hosting Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday, 15 December (15:00).

Leicester are also in Premier League action at the same time on Saturday and are away at Crystal Palace.

Line-ups

Leicester

  • 1Schmeichel
  • 14Ricardo Pereira
  • 5Morgan
  • 6Evans
  • 3Chilwell
  • 24MendyBooked at 16minsSubstituted forOkazakiat 79'minutes
  • 21IborraSubstituted forAlbrightonat 56'minutesBooked at 64mins
  • 25Ndidi
  • 7GrayBooked at 81mins
  • 8IheanachoSubstituted forGhezzalat 56'minutes
  • 10Maddison

Substitutes

  • 11Albrighton
  • 12Ward
  • 15Maguire
  • 20Okazaki
  • 28Fuchs
  • 31Ghezzal
  • 38Choudhury

Tottenham

  • 1Lloris
  • 24AurierSubstituted forWalker-Petersat 78'minutes
  • 4Alderweireld
  • 5Vertonghen
  • 33Davies
  • 15DierBooked at 9mins
  • 8Winks
  • 17Sissoko
  • 20Alli
  • 7Son Heung-MinSubstituted forKaneat 74'minutes
  • 27Lucas MouraSubstituted forEriksenat 67'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Rose
  • 10Kane
  • 14Nkoudou
  • 16Walker-Peters
  • 22Gazzaniga
  • 23Eriksen
  • 52Skipp
Referee:
Craig Pawson
Attendance:
31,957

Match Stats

Home TeamLeicesterAway TeamTottenham
Possession
Home42%
Away58%
Shots
Home11
Away7
Shots on Target
Home3
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away5
Fouls
Home12
Away7

Live Text

Match ends, Leicester City 0, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Leicester City 0, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

Attempt missed. James Maddison (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Marc Albrighton.

Kyle Walker-Peters (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Shinji Okazaki (Leicester City).

Foul by Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham Hotspur).

Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Rachid Ghezzal (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Demarai Gray.

Attempt saved. Rachid Ghezzal (Leicester City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top right corner.

Hand ball by Marc Albrighton (Leicester City).

Attempt missed. Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a corner.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Ben Davies.

Attempt blocked. Demarai Gray (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Wilfred Ndidi.

Booking

Demarai Gray (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Kyle Walker-Peters (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Demarai Gray (Leicester City).

Offside, Leicester City. Ricardo Pereira tries a through ball, but Demarai Gray is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Leicester City. Shinji Okazaki replaces Nampalys Mendy.

Substitution

Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Kyle Walker-Peters replaces Serge Aurier because of an injury.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Serge Aurier (Tottenham Hotspur) because of an injury.

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Wilfred Ndidi.

Substitution

Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Harry Kane replaces Son Heung-Min.

Offside, Leicester City. Rachid Ghezzal tries a through ball, but Wes Morgan is caught offside.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Moussa Sissoko.

Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Serge Aurier.

Attempt missed. Serge Aurier (Tottenham Hotspur) header from the right side of the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Ben Davies with a cross.

Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Rachid Ghezzal (Leicester City).

Substitution

Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Christian Eriksen replaces Lucas Moura.

Attempt missed. Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left following a set piece situation.

Foul by Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur).

James Maddison (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Booking

Marc Albrighton (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Marc Albrighton (Leicester City).

Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jonny Evans (Leicester City).

Attempt blocked. James Maddison (Leicester City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Goal!

Goal! Leicester City 0, Tottenham Hotspur 2. Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur) header from very close range to the top right corner. Assisted by Son Heung-Min with a cross following a fast break.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Man City1613214593641
3Tottenham16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Man Utd167542826226
7Everton156542117423
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester166462120122
10West Ham166372325-221
11Brighton166371922-321
12Watford156271821-320
13Wolves155461518-319
14Cardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle153481220-813
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249
View full Premier League table

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